A few nights ago as I shut the chickens away for the night I noted something with great interest. Frodo was up on the roost with Legolas and Elrond. Wow. She has been on the floor of the coop since going broody and raising her chicks, but no more! So long, babies! At six-and-a-half weeks old the feather babies were on their own, so to speak, and now sleep in a sibling pile on the floor. Frodo will still hang out near them during the day sometimes, but they are ‘grown’ and now have to forge their own paths in the world.
Here they all are at seven weeks old. They are so pretty, just like little mini chickens. Although I hit the stats right with four blues and four blacks, I am resigned to the fact that I probably have three females out of eight, two blacks and one blue. The Smoky Chick may still turn out to be a girl but it doesn’t matter, owing to his/her unfortunate colour discrepancy.
Blue Girl. She has a nice dark beak and dark legs, but her body colour isn’t brilliant. Ideally she should be darker on the head/neck and in an even more ideal world she should have darker blue lacing on the edges of the feathers. I will be keeping her though.
Blue Girl (front) with Scrappy behind. Although Scrappy is slightly more in the shadows you can definitely see the difference in colouring. Scrappy has amazing colouring for a blue Australorp. Unfortunately, you can also see the difference in the size and colour of their combs and wattles…
The Smoky Chick. He/she looks ok from this angle, but…
Have you been rolling in poop, Smoky Chick? Nope, it’s buff colouring in the chest feathers. No good! There’s no point in even considering any other features as this is a big no no that would come through in future generations.
I still can’t be sure if The Smoky Chick is a she or a he.
Scrappy. Ah, Scrappy, my beautiful dark blue chick. If only Scrappy were a girl. I’ve just got to keep Scrappy. He is going to be a stunner. Dark lacing, dark head, dark beak, dark legs. Dammit Scrappy.
More Scrappy. Because you can never get enough of Scrappy.
Little Spot (boy), with The Smoky Chick behind. It is getting harder to tell these two apart when they’re on the move. And Little Spot doesn’t sit still for long.
Little Spot (bottom) with Pie and Blue Girl above. Little Spot should turn out pretty well too, his colour is just not quite as stunning as Scrappy.
Blackie (girl). Blackie is the best of the blacks so far. Hooray for being a girl! She has nice dark legs and a mostly dark beak. She’s definitely a keeper.
Dear little Blackie.
Pie (girl). Pie doesn’t look so nice next to Blackie. Her beak is way too yellow and her legs are too light. If I had more choices I probably wouldn’t keep Pie, but I will keep her purely for egg-laying purposes, as the egg situation is very poor at the moment!
Pie. I thought Pie was going to be a boy because of her alert and curious nature from a young age.
Half Pie (boy). He will always be remembered as the chick that shared the dining room with us, but his beak is way too yellow and his legs are too light/yellow as well.
Half Pie (front) pauses the bro’s preening session for a second while I take a photo. I was trying to take a nice photo of them looking the same way but do you think they would sit still at the same time?
Orange Feet (boy). He has a cute face but his beak and legs are a little lighter than ideal.
Now it’s Orange Feet’s (back) turn to look while Half Pie does more preening.
And a partial group shot to finish. The chicks like to one-up each other on the ladder. Blackie goes exploring up high, with Blue Girl, Pie, The Smoky Chick and Little Spot below. Orange Feet and Half Pie are having their bro’s preening sesh on the little fence below and Scrappy is standing on the stump by himself, coz he’s too cool for school.
Ok, one more photo… A mother-son moment a few days ago with Frodo and Little Spot.